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Home » Archives » May 2006 » Since-less Violence
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05/18/2006: Since-less Violence

I needed a new black sweater this week, so I took myself out shopping. I'm not a huge shopper, but I can do it if I have a specific goal. Anyway, I've just recently noticed a very weird tendency I have. I will enter a store and find the item I like best *in that store* and buy it. As if I don't know the difference between liking something best, and actually liking it. What is this? Why would I do that? Weird.

This is how I end up with things in my closet that I do not love. I have to learn that not all stores are created equal.

Neither are all joke types. One that I'm not especially fond of is one I'm gonna call the "Since Joke." Family Guy is made of Since Jokes. You know the ones. "I haven't seen a blank that blank since Peter blanked with that random celebrity," leading into a quick pop of a flashback scene. Note that these don't actually have to have the word "since" in them. For example: "This is as bad as that time…" is also a Since Joke.

Murphy Brown used a lot of these too, although that show did not actually show you the event in question. They were used primarily to remind us of the world in which she worked – a reference to some political or journalistic celebrity.

Sometimes these jokes are great. Family Guy does absolutely brilliant and hilarious things with these jokes. And here is one I really like from the British series Blackadder, in which the main character expresses his opinion of the just-invented dictionary:

It's the most pointless book since "How To Learn French" was translated into French.

And yet, Since Jokes are not my faves. They sound written, and they don't lend themselves very easily to exposing character or to forwarding the story. They're about an event separate from the events of the script, and they're about as spontaneous as the analogy section of the SAT.

Use them if you're writing a Family Guy spec. Otherwise, you might want to look for a joke that tells you more about the character saying it.

Lunch: a nifty little salad from the South Beach Cookbook. Zing!


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